No Republican Response, no Democratic Response Either

I have about 10 problems with Lakoff’s wish list. In short, it’s not my wish list. And that is why I do not hope he goes in that direction, regardless of political expedience.

He might go further than I want in some cases, and probably not in many others.
I want conditions applied to making the pipeline. I want universal min. wage increase.

Democracy is NOT based on empathy, much as we might want empathy to be integrated into the law.
Democracy is based on a cold, hard presumption of rights and rule of law. That idea smacks of empathy, but it pushes the concept farther than most would agree to. Empathy is nice; I would say it is the proper evolutionary step beyond democracy.

The reference to "you didn’t build it" was true, and not a mistake. It was just twisted by the right; and should serve as a lesson in real-politics for Lakoff: it’s not just okay, but proper to plan with the likely opposition in mind.

This is Lakoff’s own inappropriate spin: " Wage Slavery: take what you are offered or someone else will." That is not slavery, that is capitalism. Too bad, Bucko, that’s how it works. Obama’s "lift people up the ladder phrase implies how he gets capitalism more than the blogger does. Changing pensions is not a theft, it’s breaking a promise. Go ahead, say it, George.

Hydrocarbons are not immoral; they are just costly in several ways. I mean, would they become moral if they had less or no environmental impact? Of course, stop being such a provocateur!

Seems he ran out of steam at the end of the laundry list; no conclusion.

I want him to maintain a posture that avoids "us versus them," despite the fact that the other party does that.
I want the "Republican response" either abolished. It implies that President is first a partisan, and second the president, which is false. I the two parties in Congress want to debate as they should, make a Democratic AND a Republican "response."

About Jim

I've been leading outdoor environmental education in the YMCA since the 1970s. I love teaching nature, history, current events, being a dad, fixing stuff, groups, and general thinking.
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2 Responses to No Republican Response, no Democratic Response Either

  1. JP says:

    Specifics aside, you seem to have missed the main point, which is that the president can never, in the SOTU, tell the truth. The system is not set up that way. So it becomes a choreographed PR event that does nothing to generate actual discussion on real issues, which Lakoff has done, as he got you to delve into the actual issues and give responses. The point wasn’t that we all have to share Lakoff’s wish list, but that the president should give an actual agenda rather than platitudes. Only that will lead to the kind of discussion we need, and which you have started here.
    There can’t be much discussion about “our best days are ahead of us” but there can be good discussion on whether we should continue to use fossil fuels, when renewables now are cheaper and create more jobs. We can argue about Keystone. You want “conditions” applied to Keystone. I would ask when have “conditions” ever been applied to such a project in a good way. Saying that is living in a fantasy world that can only lead to more oil spills; at least that is what history shows me.
    And if you think wage slavery just happened because that is the way capitalism is, I really feel sorry for you. It has happened because the system is rigged, and that is just the way it is. If you believe otherwise, you’ve made them very happy for falling for their ruse.
    Robert Reich, for one, has made that case well. You like Reich, except when you don’t. For me, facts are hard to counter with “that’s just the way capitalism works.” Cause, Bucko, that ain’t true.
    I could (and have) pointed to numerous other articles making the same case. You haven’t countered with substance, but only with Bucko, that’s how capitalism works. Sorry, that statement hasn’t swayed me from the reality I see.

    • Jim says:

      I think I get the point. But I do not accept your point at defining the truth as what you want politics to accomplish. Truth, as far as politics is concerned, is in the eye of the beholder. And politics is the art of the possible. I also do not accept your bifurcation of the issue as what I see as a false choice between ” a choreographed PR event that does nothing to generate actual discussion on real issues,” and your truth.

      Environmental regulations make all sorts of things possible. Sure, oil spills make the news, but oil flowing through a pipeline – as zillions of gallons routinely do, does not get hype.

      I reject the term wage slavery, and you tell me I don’t understand it. it is you who misses the point. We do not win with language like this. And, Bucko, capitalism depends on workers making choices in their employment. Anything like slavery would be to remove their choices. When workers move toward better paying jobs, they send a message to the employers. I don’t deny that there are problems with the system, nor do I deny that the system favors the wealthy employer over the employee. And certainly, collective bargaining has eroded in major ways. Reich’s column uses constructive language and ideas for solutions. That is good stuff. Complaining and telling people they are pathetic liars does little if anything.

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